I’ve seen your posts in the closed school Facebook Groups.
I’ve seen your posts in the open Facebook Groups.
And I’ve been in your shoes before.
In fact, even with our sixth kid last year, I was still you.
So I get it.
Our youngest has her first day of kindergarten six days.
She has a brand spanking new teacher. I have no idea who the heck she is and I know nothing about her.
I have no idea who is going to be in her class.
I have no idea what she’s going to do all day.
I have no idea who she’ll sit with in the classroom.
I have no idea if she’ll be proactive enough to ask for help if she needs it.
I have no idea if she’s going to walk into the building happy and excited or nervous and petrified.
I have no idea if she’s going to follow the directions or be a total pain in the ass.
For the first time in four years, ten months, and twenty-six days, I will have no first hand knowledge of what she is doing for the majority of her waking hours.
And you know what?
She’s going to be fine.
My kid is going to be fine, and your kid is going to be fine.
It’s okay for your kid to walk into the unknown.
She’s not walking alone into the forest in the middle of the night without provisions or a flashlight where she will have to fight off wild animals and forage for food.
This isn’t Naked and Afraid.
Your kid is going to kindergarten. In a school. Where there are professionals who know how to deal with kids of all types.
Your kid is going to be fine.
If your son has never opened up his lunchbox by himself before, he will be fine. There are people who work in the lunch room who will look out for him.
If your daughter still can’t zip her backpack up by herself, don’t worry. Her teacher will help her.
Your kid doesn’t know a single person in her class and her ten best friends are all in the same class together with the best kindergarten teacher in the history of the whole entire universe and you have never ever heard of her teacher and haven’t been able to find out any details about her even though you spent fourteen hours Googling the crap out of her yesterday?
Your kid will be fine.
And she will come out of the first day of school with at least one new friend.
Your kid can’t tie her own shoes?
Um, neither can 99% of her class, so no worries.
The teacher knows how to tie shoes. And she’s prepared to have to do that. A lot. Even if she’s new.
Your kid doesn’t know how to get to the bathroom?
On the first day of school the teacher will take her on a tour and show her where all the bathrooms are. And then she’ll let the kids go to the bathroom with a buddy until they get to know the building better.
Your kid came home on the first day and didn’t eat a single thing in his lunchbox?
Um, how many meals have you made in the last 1,825 days? If you’ve made breakfast, lunch and dinner, for the last five years, you’ve made 5,475 meals. I’m pretty sure your kid has refused to eat at least 100 of them.
Your kid hasn’t starved to death in the past, and he won’t starve to death in kindergarten.
Your kid still takes a nap and won’t make it through the day?
She’ll make it through. She might be a mess when she comes home, but she’ll adjust.
And for the first few months of school she’ll pass out by 7 pm, so there’s that. Enjoy the early bedtimes.
Your kid is a genius and won’t be challenged enough?
Your kid is five.
Your kid needs you to help him pack his bag/wipe his nose/wipe his butt/find all his stuff/pack his bag/zip his jacket?
If that’s the case, then kindergarten is the best thing for your kid, because he is ready to learn how to do all those things himself.
Your daughter won’t know a single soul in her classroom?
If your kid ever went to preschool, there was a time when she entered a building and a classroom for the first time and got to know a class full of kids she had never met before.
If she did it when she was three, she can do it when she’s five.
She’ll be fine.
I get it.
I know it’s hard to let go.
I know it’s easy to worry.
But whatever you are doing, whatever you are saying, and whatever you are openly stressing about is being projected onto your kids.
And remember that you aren’t putting a parachute on your five-year-old daughter and pushing her out of an airplane or shipping your son off to Afghanistan for the next eighteen months.
You are sending your kid to kindergarten. You will see him in a couple hours.
And your kid is going to be just fine.